Friday, January 22, 2010

the fascinating bower bird

I'd like to introduce you to the Australian Bower Bird.  Do you know the bower bird?  Of all the birds,  the bower birds are the greatest nest designers.  A male bower bird will devote most of his life to
nest construction and furnishing, in hopes of impressing and attracting a mate.

Some are great architects, building towering twig structures carefully woven together.   Others  display their fabulous collections inside and around their finished nests:  clusters of flowers, shells, nuts,  and even animal dung--as long as it's been thoughtfully arranged.  Birds that live in and around cities collect man-made treasures: water bottle caps, clothespins, plastic bits and bobs. And some even create moss "lawns."   And as if that isn't interesting enough, each bird has a preferred color or colors!  Some birds like green, some prefer darker colors: blacks, charcoals, deep browns, and some love pinks and oranges.  The Satin Bower Bird collects only blue things.  After all he's a glossy deep blue bird with sparkling blue eyes, and what better way to extend his blueness into the world?  And some birds seem to be interested in contrasting textures, bits of string juxtaposed with transparent bits of glass, or iridescent beetle casings.  When the bower bird is not selecting and endlessly arranging objects for his nest, he spends his time titivating, preening, and practicing his "display" dance.

If you'd like to know more about the brilliant bower bird, there are several videos on YouTube worth your time, those that feature naturalist, David Attenborough, are particularly worthwhile:


  1. I love the bower bird. I love David Attenborough. I love 365/making. I love leaving comments.

  2. Yay! I love Joolie! Glad I got the kinks out of the comments section!

  3. Really!?!! I had NO idea. Can't wait to go look!

  4. Wouldn't The Bower Bird make a great blog name? I wish I'd called my house The Bower House.